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Old Wine in New Skins : Centering Prayer and Systems Theory Paperback – October 21, 2000
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From Library Journal
Lawson, an Episcopal priest at St. Cross by the Sea in Hermosa Beach, CA, has written a surprising but ultimately insightful hybrid of two genres: the systems theory study and the prayer manual. He asserts that the daily meditative practice of Centering Prayer, together with an informed understanding of how institutional structures work, can help clergy and congregations deal with stress and conflicting wishes constructively. It may be difficult for most congregations to attain the complex self-awareness demanded here, much less to achieve Centering Prayer, but Lawson's small book ought to help many congregations on their way. For most collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lawson's fresh contribution to the systems literature is his prescription for handling the anxiety that pervades any congregation, and can cripple a troubled one.
Because controlling runaway anxiety and reactivity is so crucial in congregations, especially very troubled or conflicted ones, the introduction of a specific spiritual practice to help the leaders do this is an important addition to the systems literature. This small book makes a valuable connection between one of the most significant theoretical understandings of church life, and a spiritual practice which is available to all of us who care about congregations.
Reviewed by Travis Du, 12 May 2002
Proposes centering prayer as a method of creating healthier environments in our parishes. Very good on the relational aspect of leadership, pointing out how "leaders and members mutually affect each other."
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I have been rector of a parish in So. California for 7 years and can attest that the prinicples in this book really do work. Forget what you have learned about management techniques and read this book.
The Rev. John Day
I did purchase a used book and it is not in "good" condition - the person who had it previously underlined what seems like the whole book.